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Al Jazeera World News

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Pakistan 11, Koran 7, Chavez 4, Us 4, Syria 3, Tasmania 3, United Nations 2, Islam 2, Perpetrator 1, Victoria 1, Fiction 1, Andrew Simmons 1, Lance Armstrong 1, Syrians 1, Riverside City 1, Unicef 1, Us From Islamabad 1, The Philippines 1, Southeastern Australia 1, Venezuela 1,
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  LINKTV    Al Jazeera World News    News/Business. Independent global  
   news offers a variety of perspectives.  

    January 5, 2013
    7:00 - 7:30am PST  

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>> this is al jazeera. >> these are the stories we are covering in detail. vigilante justice in pakistan. a man killed for allegedly desecrating the koran. foreign forces, rebels in the central african republic take yet another town. the venezuelan government says president chavez could begin another term even if he is too ill to be sworn in. despite what you see, these are fished out of water.
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they are living in the israeli desert. he was killed by a mob, allegedly for desecrating the koran. him was in police custody when angry villagers drag him from his cell, beat him to death, and set his body on fire. police in pakistan are still trying to find out who he was. we went to the province where it happened. warnings, there are images in this report, you may find disturbing. this man was taken from the police station in pakistan. he was murdered for allegedly desecrating the koran. >> police officials describe hundreds of villagers came to the police station. they took the man from behind these bars. they took him to the second
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floor, dropped his body, and set him on fire. >> seven police officials have been suspended since the killing last month. they were not able to protect a man into custody and did not even have a name for him. they say the mob overpowered them after storming the police station. this is a tranquil village. they allowed the traveler to stay the night in the local mosque. they say they will put to burned pages of the koran. and allegedly caught him while he was trying to burn more. >> he was burning the koran. he tried to run away. i caught him and gave him to the police. >> it was god's word. he burned our koran. were sad. how can such a thing take place in our village? >> it is the duty of everyone to respect and protect the koran. he was burned, but that does not
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repair the damage he did. >> people say the attackers were not just from this village. the art resulted in this frenzy. -- the outrage resulted in this frenzy. even young children took part. his body was so badly mutilated, even the autopsy was inconclusive. there have been similar cases in other parts of pakistan. the continued failure of authorities to bring people to justice has not helped. the brutal punishment has alarmed human rights activists. >> i think it is a complete breakdown of law and order in pakistan. the enforcement agencies are helpless and incompetent. >> the officer in charge of the village says he will try and persuade people to trust the system. >> we will try to regain the
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people's confidence. we will perform our duties well so the people can have faith in the police. >> unless the killers are punished and a drastic measures are taken to ensure mob attacks do not become the norm, killings like this will continue. al jazeera, pakistan. >> vigilante attacks are common in pakistan. in july of 2000, then forced their way into a police station and burned a homeless mentally disabled man to death. in june, they attacked police stations and tried to kill men accused of blasphemy. in 2011, a 34-year-old merchant who had been cleared of blasphemy allegations were shot dead. the governor was also killed in islamabad by his bodyguard. he had been critical of the blasphemy laws.
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let's introduce an author who has written extensively about security issues in pakistan, joining us from islam a bad. hopeless and incompetent was the description of the police authorities. does that account for the added to the cross your country? >> yes, these vigilante attacks have become common. it is a manifestation of the collapse of our judicial and law enforcement system. this is not the first case that has happened. there have been many cases in pakistan over the last few years. the police and judicial system has been unable to provide justice to the people and protect those accused of blasphemy. >> why are the police unable to do anything about it? unwilling? >> there are many factors.
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there has been degeneration in the law-enforcement system. they are not trained properly. the police have been used for other purposes. all those factors have contributed to this. the second thing is the weakness of the governors. there is no government. that provides a huge space for the people. not just blasphemy, but other issues. there are places across the country where people suspected of robbery and other crimes have been attacked because they do not have faith in the police. >> would you except there are those using the lack of respect for the police for their own agenda?
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whipping up a mob fervor? >> certainly. on the last of the issues, -- on the blast of the issues, they are misusing the laws. just on suspicion, people have been killed. in some cases, people acquitted by the court have been shot down. there is the collapse of judicial and law enforcement systems in pakistan. the other thing is the rising extremism. in many cases, people accused of blasphemy without evidence. there is a basic flaw in the way the blasphemy law has been applied in pakistan. >> there was a suggestion in that report that those people responsible were unlikely to be brought to justice. is that generally the case?
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>> i think probably. we have seen many cases where the people who have committed heinous crimes have been let out. there are people who can drive the police who have also got a free. -- there are people who can bribe the police to have also gotten free. that is what we're seeing increasing of attacks in the country. >> think you for talking to us from islam a bad -- thank you for talking to us from islamabad. >> rebels have taken another town in the fight against the government. they are now holding the town in the south of the country. our correspondent is in the central african republic, joining us from the capital. tell us about this. >> it is not so much in advance.
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it is not adding strategic threats to the capital. we have confirmation from the government spokesperson that it has been taken. this has not been a battle. the whole area, something like 800 kilometers in the south of the country near the border with the democratic republic of congo, 100 kilometers from there, was taken without resistance. one source told me you can drive your car up there and say the town is mine. it is not a simple matter for the civilians. many civilians are scared when they hear of a rebel advance on their town. they flee to the bush. it is not clear what the humanitarians picture is there.
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this is the 11th town taken by the rebels. peace talks are supposed to be taking place on tuesday. more reinforcements are coming to support the government troops. it would appear the rebels are also making headway trying to consolidate their position, despite calls from the united nations security council for them to pull back. all of this is going on with a picture of complete disorganization around the front-line just outside the capital. this is the latest report. >> troops from neighboring states in reinforcing this poverty-stricken country's regular army. the numbers of this international force exceed 1000. with the military buildup come claims from humanitarian and
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diplomatic sources that foreign mercenaries are being brought in by both sides. not only that, the president was expressing optimism over peace talks, unicef was accusing his militias and the rebels of using a child soldiers. this is deputy general secretary of the regional grouping of 10 states brokering peace talks. >> war is expensive. child soldiers are cheap. especially when they are hungry. we have information that children have been used by one side or the other. we cannot confirm it. there have been any violations of human rights. -- there have been many violations of human rights. >> no one is surprised to hear those words on the streets of the capital. these talks next week may have
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stopped the rubble marched toward this city for now, but few are convinced lasting peace can be achieved. a presidential adviser told me any talk of the rebels taking the city should be regarded as fiction. many people here think that is political spin. is still a mood of fear. this is a country with a history of coup. peace been unattainable for decades. " we have to end this with the rebels. i do not like discussion. they can to destroy our country. how can we talk to people like that? >> all the parties must engage with the government. they must be sincere. every time there are talks, no solutions follow. >> he is right. this riverside city is sick of peace accords that failed. the people are tired of conflict that drowned their
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chances of living better in one of the poorest countries on earth. >> other countries have sent forces in. there is word of other nations joining the fight to keep the rebels back. >> we do have a development. one of our team members has seen a south african soldier with a number of military vehicles. we have had confirmation from a high placed diplomatic source that a south africans are on the ground, 180 is the figure we have been told. whether they are here in official terms, we have yet to find out. this has just happened. they may be mercenaries. we do know of reports of mercenaries being hired by both sides in the conflict.
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that is one development. the pressure is on to get the peace talks going. it is expected on sunday, a united nations airplane will fly into rebel territory and a number of rebels will board the plane for the talks. much hope is placed on these talks, although there is much skepticism about the outcome. >> that is andrew simmons in the capital of the central african republic. sudan and south sudan are meeting in the ethiopian capital for the second day discussing oil and border issues with mediators. they came close to war last year, both accusing the other of supporting rebels in their territories. a report from syrian state media that a journalist or a pro- government television station has died from wounds sustained during a rebel attack.
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in syria, there are more reports of violence. residents in the damascus neighborhood have reported an explosion thought to have been caused by a makeshift bomb. no casualties have been reported yet. activists have reported shelling. they say there are casualties in one town. the pictures are said to show people pulling bodies from the rubble. we have several teams on the ground in syria. one is on the ground where there is a severe shortage of medicine and doctors. we have more on what our team has seen. >> in syria, nowhere is safe. this elderly woman was injured when government forces shelled a funeral procession. she had gone to pay her respects to those killed in an earlier attack.
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there are no more hospitals left. they have been bombed out by the president's army or transformed into bases for rebel fighters. instead, the injured are brought to these makeshift treatment rooms set up in homes and basements. these so-called clinics are struggling to cope. there are few doctors and little medicine. >> the most important thing we need is oxygen canisters. the ones we have are empty. many patients need oxygen in terms of sterilization and keeping things clean, we barely have the basics. we barely have enough of all. -- we barely have enough alcohol. empty. everything is empty. >> despite severe shortages, doctors and activists are trying to find any way to treat the constant flow of victims. wood is used to help those with
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broken bones. bringing people to the temporary hospitals is a struggle. in this area, there is only one ambulance. it is stripped of all equipment. even if was in need of help. the rebels say they cannot win the war unless they are supplied with more weapons. for thousands of syrians, their battle with death hinges on the supply of something much less controversial. medicine. al jazeera. >> thousands of people are homeless in tasmania. what help can you give to the filipino children who lost everything from the typhoon? will lance armstrong finally admit he took performance enhancing drugs? we will bring you that story in sports.
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the venezuelan national assembly will elect its new leader in a few hours. the winner will be in a key position to run as president if chavez does not return to power. the government says it may just delay his return to office. >> on friday, the venezuelan government admitted the president-elect has suffered complications after his fourth cancer surgery. a day later, they suggested he could be sworn in late. >> on january 10, the new constitution begins. he continues his functions. he can take the oath of office at the moment he goes before the supreme court of justice. >> this was the response to a demand that the nation the told what is going on and who will take over if chavez cannot assume office on time. now they have an answer.
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still do not know what kind of cancer he has. speculation about his and venezuela's future is continuing. >> in the morning, the tell us he is in serious condition. in the afternoon, they say he is exercising. that has created rumors iand uncertainty and economic and instability across the country. >> having won the vote, he is empowered to leave for another six years. the constitution does not say what happens if he is temporarily unable to be sworn in. >> no one is ignoring popular sovereignty. in terms of extending his mandate, they could assigning to the constitution that does not exist. >> if he dies, the constitution stipulates the head of the national assembly takes over pending elections within 30 days.
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chavez has designated this man to take forward his socialist revolution in the event of his death. the bus driver turned vice- president shares' his rags to riches background, but he does not have his charisma and fame. he may struggle to inherit his political fortunes. >> and nepalese military officer has been charged with torture. thousands were killed during the conflict when government forces and the fighting ended in 2006. he was summoned under the law allowing prosecution for alleged war crimes. they summoned the british ambassador to protest the arrest. a reporter says nepal has been slow to investigate. >> the nepalese government is in the process to address this
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human rights violation case and make them accountable. the process of forming this truth and reconciliation commission has not come to realization. the parties have not yet come to the table. this could be a reminder that the international community wanted to pressure the nepalese government to act as soon as possible and bring the human- rights violators to justice. it has been six years since the civil war came to an end. it could be true they have acted out of fear to get justice.
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the operator arrested in the universal jurisdiction is in vote when the government is considered unwilling or unable to take action against the perpetrator. in the case of nepal, it is different. the parties are still negotiating on the promise of the truth and reconciliation commission. >> if you were in charge of and your family and home were destroyed in a storm, the immediate problem is where to live and with him. a helping hand is what you need. in the philippines, thousands of orphans need special help. that is after the damage of a typhoon last month. we have a report from one of the worst hit areas. >> the christmas break is over.
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is the first week of school. these peoples are not attending regular classes yet. this is a special group counseling session for survivors. this 8-year-old lost six cousins during the typhoon. he says he would have been dead if his brother had not saved him. he watched his house to get swept away. he has been living in an evacuation center. what is left with his family. he often relives the typhoon in his sleep. >> we were so scared. the water was as high as the trees. if we did not run, we would be dead. >> this remains a fragile and nervous committee. when it rains, people rushed to seek shelter fearing the worst. as much as efforts are being focused on what social workers call physical needs such as food, water, and shelter, there are also invisible concerns that must be dealt with. >> this is an economically
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depressed area. the situation is increased poverty of families. there might be strong pressure and it might be easy for unscrupulous persons to get children to work will be exploited. >> they want the children back in school to give them a sense of normalcy and how. there are no normal or undamaged schools left. they carry on the best they can. the children who survived the typhoon know that things have changed. life is far more vulnerable than they might have realized before. al jazeera in the southern philippines. >> let's hear from the aid agency world vision. the children are suffering the most.
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>> you have probably been hearing in the news the figures in terms of the number of deaths and missing people. one month on, we would like to focus on the plight of the survivors, especially children who are the most to suffer. we have been receiving reports on disrupted schooling of children. about 95% of the area schools are damaged. you can imagine how the children are trying to find ways for them to go through a normal routine. we coordinate with the local and national government in terms of how we can complement the efforts of the authorities. we are providing child family spaces. it is a flexible program designed for children. it can be school based or facilitated in evacuation centers.
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we develop programs designed for children to help them bring back their routine to normal. >> wildfires had destroyed homes in southeastern australia. the bushfires are sweeping across the state of south australia, victoria. the island of tasmania has been the worst affected place in australia. andrew thomas has more on that. >> forecasters warned tasmania was about to endure its hottest temperatures in years. as feared, they produced the states worst wildfires in almost half a century. carried on by hot wind, the flames swept through the southeast of the island state destroying at least 100 homes. some escaped by spending hours in the water. in the worst affected town, the